Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pete Rose

Pete Rose is a former star major league baseball player who is the all-time leader in base hits. However, Rose threw everything away by gambling on baseball (and lying about it), thereby destroying his legacy and barring him from enshrinement in the prestigious Hall of Fame.

Rose was born on April 14, 1941 in Cincinnati, OH. Sports were an important part of Rose's life during his youth. He participated in both football and baseball while he was a high school student. Unfortunately, Rose was not gifted academically and apparently failed courses his sophomore year - he was given the option of attending summer school or repeating his sophomore year. Rose' father's choose for Pete to repeat his sophomore year so that he wouldn't have to given up playing baseball during the following summer. Consequently, when Pete Rose reached his senior year in high school, he had already used up his four years of sports eligibility. Rose was able to continue playing baseball during his senior year by playing games on a Class AA baseball team in the Dayton Amateur League. Rose performed well, playing several positions and batting over .500.

The Cincinnati Reds were aware of Pete Rose and in June 1960 signed a professional contract with the Reds. Rose played well in the minor leagues between 1960 and 1962, setting a Class D league record for triples in a season in 1961 and batting .330 in 1962 in Class A. In 1963 Rose was given the opportunity to start at second base during spring training after the Red's starting second baseman, Don Blasingame, pulled a groin muscle. Rose performed well and was elevated to the Reds' starting second baseman. During Spring Training, Rose was given his signature nickname, "Charlie Hustle," by Hall of Fame Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford after Ford saw Rose apparently showboating by sprinting to first base after drawing a walk.

Rose played well as a rookie in 1963, finishing the year batting .273 and acquiring 170 hits. Rose was rewarded for his efforts by winning the Rookie of the Year Award. Two years later, in 1965, Rose had his first .300+ season, batting .312 with 209 hits and finishing sixth in the National League MVP vote. Rose continued to play well throughout the 1960s, leading the National League in batting average in 1968 and 1969, and finishing second the the MVP vote in 1969.

Although Rose was respected for his tenacious style of play, he also began the garner a reputation as one of the biggest and most egocentric jerk/asshole in the game of baseball. In the 1970 All-Star game, for example, Rose plowed into the American League's catcher, Ray Fosse, separating Fosse's shoulder and igniting a quick decline in Fosse's career. The play occurred during the 12th inning of the All-Star game as Rose was trying to score the winning run. Fosse stood in the baseline waiting to catch a throw to home plate when Rose barreled over Fosse, separating Fosse's shoulder. At the time, baseball fans gave Rose a pass for playing into Fosse because he was trying to score the winning run and Fosse was standing in the base path. However, public opinion eventually turned against Rose as he began trash-talking about the incident in an effort to make himself appear more masculine.

Rose supposedly began lying about Fosse, saying that he and Fosse
had been out partying until 2 AM the night before the All-Star game and that "he had [still] been willing to slam into a good friend the way he did." Rose apparently fabricated the entire background of the story, as Fosse has stated that he had never met Rose before that All-Star game. Rose also infuriated fans when he later said, "I could have never looked my father in the eye again, if I hadn't hit Fosse that day."

Despite his actions in the 1970s All-Star game, Rose continued to play well throughout the 1970s. He was arguably the best contact hitter throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In 1973 he had his best season, with 230 hits, a .338 batting average, and winning the National League MVP award. The Reds made the playoffs in 1973 and Rose famously started a fight with the diminutive New Work Mets shortstop Bud Harrelson while attempting to break up a double play during the National League playoffs during a game played in New York. The game was nearly forfeited after the feisty New York crowd started throwing bottles and other garbage onto the field in the direction of Pete Rose.

Rose was a major component of the "Big Red Machine," as the Cincinnati Reds were called during the 1970s. The Big Red Machine was one of the most dominant teams of the 1970s, winning the National League West division six times, playing in four World Series, and winning two World Series titles, in 1975 and 1976.

In 1978 Rose recorded the longest hitting streak in National League history, and the second longest of all time (next to Joe Dimaggio's 56-game hitting streak) when he recorded hits in 44 consecutive games. Rose's streak nearly ended during the 32 game until Rose was able to leg out a bunt single in the 9th inning of the game. Rose came across as a whiny crybaby after a game against the Braves when his streak ended - he was upset after striking out during the ninth inning because the Atlanta Braves' pitcher hadn't thrown him a fastball to hit. Rose also recorded his 3,000 hit in 1978, becoming only the 13th player at the time to get so many career hits.

After the 1978 season, Rose left the Reds and joined the Philadelphia Phillies, who made him the highest paid player in the game at the time. Rose proved to be a positive addition to the Phillies, helping them win the first championship in the old franchise's history in 1980.

After five seasons in Philadelphia, Rose returned signed a contract with the Montreal Expos for the 1984 season. Rose apparently left the Phillies because the team was going to reduce his playing time after he had the worst season of his career up to that point, hitting a pedestrian .245 with a pathetic slugging percentage of .286. Rose, however, had grand ambitions of breaking Ty Cobb's all-time record of 4189 hits and the Expos gave him the opportunity to play a starting position on their team.

In 1984 Rose recorded his 4,000th hit, becoming only the second player, along with Ty Cobb, to do so. The Expos traded Rose to the Reds for infielder Tom Lawless on August 15, 1984. After the trade, Rose was immediately elevated to the role of player-manager. Rose was baseball's last player-manager.

Despite rapidly diminished hitting skills, Rose continued to plow forward and continued to play for two more seasons. On September 11, 1985 Rose recorded the 4,192nd hit of his career against the San Diego Padres' pticher Eric Show, breaking Ty Cobb's record. Hall of Fame player Ted Williams was supposedly not impressed with Rose's record and when asked about Rose's career hits, Williams reportedly remarked that most of Rose's hits were singles.

Rose retired after the 1986 but continued to manage the Reds. Rose was a decent manager, leading the Reds to second-place finishes in the National Leagues' West division during his four full seasons at the helm. Rose was known for his intense managerial style, often clashing with umpires during arguments. During a game against the Mets on April 30, 1988, Rose was suspended for 30 games after infamously pushing an umpire while arguing a call.

Rumors began swirling that Rose had bet on baseball. Gambling on baseball is one of the most egregious sins in the game and the sin which resulted in the suspension of several White Sox player during the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal when the White Sox threw the series.

In February 1989, Rose was questioned by by outgoing commissioner Peter Ueberroth. Rose denied allegations of gambling and Ueberroth dropped the investigation. However, three days after Ueberroth's successor, Bart Giamatti, became Commissioner, lawyer John M. Dowd was retained to investigate gambling charges against Rose. Dowd interviewed many alleged bookies and bet runners who were associated with Rose. Dowd summarized his findings to the Commissioner in May, 1989. Dowd's report documented Rose's alleged gambling activities in 1985 and 1986 and listed a day-by-day account of Rose's alleged betting on baseball games in 1987. Dowd's report also documented Rose's alleged bets on 52 Reds games in 1987, where Rose wagered at least $10,000 a day. There was no evidence that Rose had bet against the Reds in any of his bets.

However, Commissioner Giamatti was livid and decided to make an example of Rose to make it clear that gambling would not be tolerated. Despite denying all of the allegations, Rose voluntarily accepted a permanent place on baseball’s ineligible list on August 24, 1989. Rose was allowed to apply for reinstatement one year later. Rose also began therapy with a psychiatrist for treatment of a gambling addiction in 1989.

In a December 2002 interview, investigator Dowd stated that he believed that Rose may have bet against the Reds while managing them.

On April 20, 1990, Rose pleaded guilty to two charges of filing false income tax returns not showing income he received from selling autographs and memorabilia, and from horse racing winnings. On July 19, Rose was sentenced to five months in the medium security Prison Camp at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois and fined $50,000. Ironically, Rose was driven past a baseball field named after Ray Fosse on his way to prison.

As a member of baseball's ineligible list, Rose has not been eligible to be voted into the Hall of Fame. If Rose hadn't gambled on baseball games, Rose would surely have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility with a near-unanimous vote.

Rose continued to deny the gambling allegations throughout the 1990s and eventually developed a base of fans who wanted him enshrined in the Hall of Fame. In 1999, Rose was voted onto baseball's All-Century team and received a standing ovation before Game 2 of the 1999 World Series. Immediately after the ovation, Rose was asked by NBC's Jim Gray whether he was willing to finally admit to gambling on baseball. Rose vehemently denied ever gambling on baseball and NBC was subjected to public outcry for airing Gray's rude interview.

In 2004, Rose finally admitted to gambling on baseball in his autobiography, My Prison Without Bars. Rose also admitted to betting on Reds games for the Reds to win. Rose was apparently hoping that everyone would forgive him after coming clean. However, Rose was in for a rude awakening when the public turned against him for lying for the previous 15 years.

Ever since receiving his ban, Rose has maintained a living by appearing at memorabilia shows and other venues selling autographed baseballs, bats, photos, and other items. He often wears a hat that reads, "Hit King" and has recently been appearing with a 29-year-old Korean woman named Kiana Kim, who is supposedly his girlfriend. Rose grossed out listeners of the Howard Stern Show when he claimed that he has sex with Kim three times a day without Viagra. Rose also claimed that instead of using birth control he pulls out and shoots his load on his bedroom wall.

Despite having a reputation as a jerk and hot-head, Pete Rose was once one of the most respected players in the game at the time of his retirement in 1986. He cared was focused on setting records and winning. Although renowned for his play on the field, Rose was also famous for his bowl haircut and lack of fashion sense off the field, as shown below in this photo he took for Playboy in the 1970s.

Rose tarnished his baseball legacy and disgraced the game by gambling on baseball and then lying about it for 15 years before finally coming clean. Rose will probably never be taken of baseball's ineligible list as long as he is alive. Despite holding the all-time record for hits, at bats, games played and being one of the career leaders in other categories such as doubles and total bases, Rose has become a pariah of the game. Even when Rose tries to do the right thing, he often screws up, as he did in 2007 when he swore like a sailor while speaking at a "Reds' Legends Baseball Camp." Rose was also recently accused of using a corked bat during the 1980s. For this and the other reasons discussed above, Pete Rose is one washed-up sports celebrity!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Leif Garrett

Leif Garrett is a former singer and child star who achieved tremendous success as a teenager before turning to drugs and becoming a pathetic excuse for a human being.

Garrett's birth name is Leif Per Nervik. He was born on November 8, 1961 in Hollywood, CA. Garret broke into acting at a young age and had an uncredited role in the 1969 swingers film, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. He also had minor non-recurring roles on several TV shows during the early 1970s, such as Nanny and the Professor, Family Affair, Arnie, and Gunsmoke. Garrett had a role as the son of the star character Mike Prusser in the Walking Tall and its sequels in the mid-1970s.

Garrett and his sister Dawn Lyn co-starred in the 1974 horror film, Devil Times Five (a.k.a. "Peopletoys"), as juvenile mental patients who go on a murder spree. Garrett also had a recurring role as Leonard Unger, the son of Tony Randall's Felix Unger character on the hit TV show, The Odd Couple, after replacing Willie Aames.

During the fall of 1976, Garrett signed a recording contract and recorded his first album, entitled Leif Garrett. The album was released in 1977 and included a cover version of "Runaround Sue" which reached #13 on the US Hot 100. Garrett signed a new contract with Scotti Brothers Records in 1978 and recorded his second album, "Feel the Need." Garrett's second album included his most popular song, "I Was Made For Dancin'," which reached #10 on the US Hot 100. Garrett released three additional albums between 1979 and 1981 but was unable to duplicate the success achieved by his second album.

Garrett was apparently a heartthrob in the late 1970s. Young girls overlooked his shaggy physical appearance and were instead enamored by his fame. Garrett appears to have been one of the first androgynous child stars, as shown in the pictures below. For some unexplained reason, he looks feminine and is standing like a girl in the picture on the left below. In the picture on the right, his lips almost appear glossy as though he were wearing lipstick.

Garrett must have appealed to the pedophile community. This picture on the left below is reminiscent of a seductive Playboy photo of a woman barely hiding her breasts behind an open shirt! In the picture on the right, Garrett appears to be playing a nice game of "pocket pool" while dressed in his "Saturday Night Fever" outfit - I wonder if he won his game?

Although Garret should have felt like he was on top of the world in the late 1970s, he apparently thought that something was missing from his life and turned to drugs to fill the void. In 1979 Garrett was in a serious car accident while drunk and all hopped up on Quaaludes. Garrett's passenger and best friend, Roland Winkler, was seriously injured in the crash and was rendered a paraplegic. Garrett apparently felt so guilty about hurting his friend that he publicly promised to look after Winkler. Notwithstanding Garrett's promises, Winkler's mother filed a $25 million negligence lawsuit against him. Garrett claimed that he did not have the money, although the suit was reportedly settled for $7.1 million.

Garrett reunited with Winkler during an episode of VH1's Behind the Music in 1999. During the episode he claimed that he had not used drugs since a 1996 intervention. However, Garrett quickly relapsed and was arrested for possession only months after the episode aired. Garrett was arrested again in March 2005 and pled guilty to possession of cocaine. Garrett was given probation, which he later violated, resulting in a judge issuing a warrant for his arrest in December 2005.

Garrett's legal troubles have continued over the years. On January 14, 2006, Garrett was arrested on a Metro Red Line subway platform in downtown Los Angeles, California, for allegedly not having a ticket. During a search of his person, police discovered Heroin and Quaaludes in his possession. After his arrest, he was was held in jail without bail before being sentenced to a live-in drug rehabilitation program. Garrett quit the program and was consequently sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years' probation on May 11, 2006.

Garrett was arrested on February 2, 2010 for possession of narcotics when police observed him "shaking and sweating" on a train platform. Police prompted questioned Garrett, who eventually admitted that he had Black Tar Heroin in his shoe. Garrett was charged with a felony count of heroin possession.
Garrett has had some success since the peak of his career in the late 1970s, although his successes are few and far in between. He did have a small role in the 1983 cult classic, The Outsiders. He has also released a few albums during the late 1990s, although none were very successful. In 2003 he appeared as himself along with other washed-up celebrities including Dustin Diamond, Barry Williams, Corey Feldman, and Danny Bonaduce in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. In September 2006, Garrett appeared on the Celebrity edition of Fear Factor. He won the grand prize of US$50,000. More recently, Garrett has appeared on TruTV's The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest, a show featuring commentary from celebrities who have legal problems.

In February 2010, Ian Halperin, an apparently well-known Hollywood gossip reporter and former New York Times bestselling author, appeared on the Opie & Anthony radio show and claimed that Leif Garrett was a male prostitute. Halperin stated that a Hollywood madam informed him that wealthy older women in their late-40s and 50s were paying up to $5,000 a session to sleep with Garrett, who is dead-broke and needs the money. Some of the clients supposedly were upset that Garrett only had enough stamina for one round and complained that a "big Mack truck refuels quicker [than Garrett]." (It has also been reported that some of his clients were men.)

Leif Garrett was a big child star in the late 1970s. He was rich and famous both for his acting and music. However, instead of basking in his success, Garrett's addictive personality led him to drugs, which have apparently ruled his life much of the past 30 years. Garrett's drug addictions have drained his bank accounts, allegedly forcing him to turn tricks as a male prostitute in order to make enough money to support his drug addictions! For his and the other reasons discussed above, Leif Garrett is one washed-up celebrity!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Richard Hatch

Richard Hatch is a celebrity unlike any other celebrity I have profiled here. He became famous as the $1,000,000 grand prize winner of the first installment of the hit reality show, Survivor back in 2000. He went from parading around discussing his Survivor victory and hosting a $300k+ radio show host gig after Survivor to serving a prison sentence for tax evasion and spouting conspiracy theories to deflect criticism from himself.

Hatch was born on April 8, 1961 in Rhode Island. Hatch is an openly gay man and searched for direction for many years as a young adult. He spent five years in the United States Army, two of which were at the United States Military Academy where he studied management. However, Hatch dropped out of the Military Academy after two years. Hatch also spent some time studying Oceanography and Marine Biology at Florida Institute of Technology, and General Studies at George Mason University, and a Masters' program in Education and Counseling at Providence College in Rhode Island.

Hatch adopted a son named Christopher because his gay lover was incapable of bearing his children. However, Hatch experienced some parental difficulties and was arrested and charged with child abuse in April 2000, after his son alleged to a school official that his father had pushed his face in the ground while doing push-ups. The charges were dropped a month later after a judge ruled that Hatch's son had exaggerated the details of the incident.

Back in 2000, Hatch was working as a corporate trainer when he found out that a new reality show was auditioning contestants by asking them to send in videotapes of themselves showing off their personalities. Hatch sent in a tape and was selected to appear on the first installment of the hugely successful Survivor reality show. The first season was entitled, Survivor: Borneo.

In Survivor: Borneo, Hatch was marooned with 15 other contestants on the Borneo island in Malaysia. The 16 contestants were initially divided into tribes of 8 contestants and one contestant was voted out at the end of each episode. The contestants generally had to fend for themselves in large part and Hatch was a valuable member of his team because he was physically strong, a good swimmer and fisher, and showed leadership skills. He famously formed a secret alliance with several other of his teammates, including the crusty former Navy SEAL, Rudy Boesch.

Although Hatch was a strong contestant, he did annoy the other contestants by periodically parading around the island naked with his balls and ass hanging out for the world to see. Hatch would occasionally sit naked on logs at his tribe camp, disturbing other contestants and rendering the logs unusable and reeking of the smell of ass. About his nakedness, Hatch said, "It's funny when I hear, 'How come you're naked all the time.' I'm naked less then 1% of the time. I'd like to be naked all the time. That would be smarter in this 100 degree weather."

One of his tribe mates, Sean Kenniff, assumed that Hatch was walking around naked because he wanted to hook up with some of the other male contestants or possibly even the camera crew. Kenniff said, "If there's any horny gay men out there that want a horny guy in return, I know one."

Hatch celebrated his 39th birthday while on the island by stripping naked. Hatch said, "I'm 39 today and I had intended for quite a long time to celebrate my birthday naked."

Another tribe mate, Jenna Lewis, said, "It felt awkward sitting next to a naked gay man. If he had something to cover the butt crack area, I'd be cool with that."

Rudy Boesch said, "When I go home, if my wife asks me, 'Who was with you," I'll say the queer who ran around bare-ass half the time." Despite his disapproval of Hatch's homosexual lifestyle and nakedness on the island, Hatch said, "Me and Richard got to be pretty good friends; not in a homosexual way, that's for sure."

Hatch's secret alliance proved to be successful as he was one of the last two contestants on the show. Hatch eventually won the $1 million grand prize in a close vote over the second place contestant, Kelly Wiglesworth.

Survivor: Borea aired for 13 weeks between the end of May and August 2000 and proved to be a tremendous success. The finale of Survivor was reported watched by 51.7 million viewers, making it the second-highest viewership of any American television episode during the first decade of the 21st century, exceeded only by the finale of Friends.

The success of Survivor: Borneo made Hatch a big star in 2000 and he was showered with offers. Hatch accepted an offer to co-host "Wilde Show," a Boston morning radio show for a salary of over $320k. Hatch also wrote the motivation book, "101 Survival Secrets: How to Win $1,000,000, Lose 100 Pounds, and Just Plain Live Happily" that was published in October 2000.

Hatch was having the time of his life as a big star during the early years of this decade. He even appeared on the Australian version of the popular game show, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," where he famously answered the $500 question incorrectly and left with no prize money.

However, Hatch's massive ego and hubris eventually led him astray as Hatch thought that he was invincible. Hatch never paid any taxes on the Survivor grand prize or the $320k+ that he received from his radio co-host gig. The IRS eventually came after he for unpaid taxes in 2005, and stated Hatch would be charged with filing a false tax return. Hatch initially agreed to plea guilty in exchange for a lenient sentence. However, Hatch withdrew from the arrangement, claiming that CBS had arranged to pay his taxes before awarding him prize money back in 2000.

Hatch's withdrawal from the plea agreement apparently pissed off the IRS, as they aggressively pursed their case against him. Hatch was indicted in 10-count indictment for failing to report income from Survivor and his radio show, as well as additional charges that he failed to report rental income from properties he owned, failed to declare an automobile he won on Survivor, used money as personal income that was paid to a charity organization he had set up, and submitted false tax statements.

A jury found Hatch guilty of tax evasion, although he was acquitted of seven bank, mail and wire fraud charges. On May 16, 2006 Hatch was sentenced to 51 months in prison, plus three years of supervised release after serving his sentence and began serving his sentence immediately. I wonder whether Hatch walked around naked throughout the prison like he did on Survivor. If so, one has to wonder whether his sphincter "survived" his prison sentence. Hatch served nearly a full 3 years in prison until being released on Thursday, May 14, 2009 to serve a period of home confinement.

On August 18, 2009, he was re-arrested and taken into federal custody for granting two supposedly unauthorized interviews with Access Hollywood and Rhode Island NBC affiliate WJAR. During the interviews, Hatch mentioned that he was broke and bitter about his predicament. Prisoners under house arrest are required to get permission from the federal Bureau of Prisons before any media contact. Hatch remained in prison until October 16, 2009 when he was released.

Notwithstanding the various felonies that Hatch committed, he maintains that he was prosecuted for committing his various felonies because "he is gay."

Richard Hatch rose from obscurity to be one of the most discussed celebrities in 2000 trough his cunning strategies that he implemented in his appearance on the smash hit Survivor: Borneo. However, Hatch quickly lost all of his money and the good will he had earned by evading taxes and then landing in prison for several years after foolishly spurning a plea agreement with the IRS. Hatch's arrogance and rapid fall from grace show that there can be no doubt that Richard Hatch is one washed-up celebrity!

*** Update - April 10, 2011 ***

Richard Hatch recently appeared on Celebrity Apprentice. Hatch made it through the fifth week before being "fired" after failing to sell artwork during a competition on the show.

Hatch was also sent back to prison for another nine months in March 2011 for tax evasion. Hatch reportedly still owes that IRS $2 million in taxes and penalties. Hatch is also being pursed by Malaysian authorities for failing to pay taxes on the $1 million he won in 2000 on Survivor. Hatch has been all but begging someone to give him the money to pay off Malaysian authorities!